Answer to a question from a reader

Can I claim UIF death benefits two years after the person passed away?

The short answer

Dependants only have 18 months to claim their benefits, but it's worth trying anyway

The whole question

Dear Athalie

When my guardian passed away two years ago, I did not have an ID and could not claim their UIF death benefits. Now that I have an ID, can I claim the money?

The long answer

Dependent children under 21 can claim if there is no surviving spouse or life partner.

The UIF Act was amended in 2018, and now a dependent has 18 months to claim UIF death benefits after the contributor passes away. Although you have missed the deadline as it has been two years since your guardian passed away, it may still be worth going to your local labour office and asking if they can help you now that you have got an ID. 

To claim death benefits, you would need to complete Form UF127 and submit it at the Labour Office. You will also need:

  • A copy of your identity document.

  • Copies of the last six payslips of your guardian.

  • Information supplied by the employer on form UI-19.

  • A service certificate from the employer.

  • A certificate copy of your (the child's) birth certificate.

  • Proof of your banking details.

  • A certified copy of the death certificate.

  • Proof of guardianship.

  • Proof that you (the child) are a learner who was dependent on the deceased.

The Labour Office would give you Form UF128, which needs to be filled in by the deceased's last employer and then submitted at the Labour Office.

The death benefit is the amount that the worker could have claimed if they were unemployed. This is paid out in one payment.

If they reject your claim, you can appeal to the Regional Appeals Committee (RAC) and, if that fails, you can appeal to the National Appeals Committee (NAC) whose decision is final. 

If you want more information on the appeal process, you can ask at your local labour office or call the UIF Call Centre on 0800 843 843 and have your ID number ready.

The UIF also gives a number you can call if you have had a major problem when claiming UIF: 

SMS us on 35697 using the keyword UIF and tell us about your experience. Please include your name and province. SMSes cost R1.50

It helps to have the name of the official who has been assisting you at the labour office as well as which labour office you have been dealing with in order to resolve the issue. They say you can call 0860 345 464 or 012 337 1680 and select option three.

I think it’s worth trying to make a claim for your dependent benefits.

Wishing you the best,

Answered on Sept. 28, 2021, 4:06 p.m.

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